February 4, 2015
Tech announces 2015 football recruiting class
Seven nationally ranked prep players highlight group of 24 student-athletes
BLACKSBURG - Seven All-America caliber players highlight a football recruiting class composed of 24 student-athletes, as announced by Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

“I think this is a very balanced class made up of guys with character and sound academics, as well as talent and athletic ability,” head coach Frank Beamer said. “These are all players we really wanted. My goal has always been to start with the top talent in this state, and work out from there to attract the best players. That will never change. We’re already hard at work on our classes for 2016 and 2017, and my staff knows that I expect a continued emphasis on this state.”

Four players from the Commonwealth of Virginia earned All-America level honors: Stonewall Jackson High defensive lineman Tim Settle (No. 19 by ESPN; No. 39 by PrepStar; No. 138 by Scout; No. 174 by Rivals; No. 162 by 247Sports), Rockbridge County High offensive lineman Austin Clark (No. 124 by Rivals; No. 128 by PrepStar; No. 180 by 247Sports), Dan River High linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (No. 236 by Rivals) and Salem High defensive end Trevon Hill (No. 231 by 247Sports).

Additionally, three out-of-state players earned All-America level honors: Hillsborough (FL) High quarterback Dwayne Lawson (No. 175 by Rivals; No 199 by ESPN), Northern Guilford (NC) High cornerback Mook Reynolds (No. 229 by 247Sports) and Fork Union by way of Maplewood, New Jersey, defensive lineman Yosuah Nijman.

Tech announced 24 players total Wednesday, including 17 who signed NLIs. Nine of those 17 players are from Virginia and are all ranked among the top 50 in the state according to The Roanoke Times. Highlighting this year’s in-state group are the four All-America level players - Settle (No. 6 by The Roanoke Times), Clark (No. 12), Hill (No. 14) and Edmunds (No. 16). Four other players from the state of Virginia are ranked among the top 25 in the state by The Roanoke Times. They are: Oscar Smith High running back DeShawn McClease (No. 17), Ocean Lakes High safety Jahque Alleyne (No. 19), Phoebus High defensive lineman Harry Lewis (No. 21), Salem High athlete Coleman Fox (No. 36) and Salem High offensive lineman Zachariah Hoyt (No. 48).

Ten players from seven other states or districts also officially joined the Hokies on Wednesday. A pair of Indiana teammates - defensive lineman Eric Whitehead, Jr., and safety Adonis Williamson - will make the trek from the Hoosier State. The duo played together at Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis. Whitehead was an all-state selection who is rated as the No. 48 defensive tackle in the country by 247Sports while Williamson, a first-team all-state selection who had six interceptions his senior year, is rated as the No. 32 cornerback in the country by ESPN.

For the 25th signing class in the past 28 years (1988-2015), Virginia Tech has brought in at least one player from Florida with the additions of the All-American Lawson, Winter Haven offensive lineman Mike Arnold and Jacksonville tight end Chris Cunningham. Arnold is ranked as the No. 74 offensive tackle in the country by ESPN, while Cunningham is ranked as the No. 11 tight end-H in the country by ESPN. Tarpon Springs linebacker Carson Lydon, an all-state selection ranked as the No. 39 outside linebacker in the country by ESPN, enrolled at Virginia Tech in January.

The Hokies reached into the state of North Carolina for three players, one of whom signed Wednesday. Rocky Mount defensive end Houshun Gaines is ranked as the No. 31 weakside defensive end in the country by Rivals and joins Charlotte safety Adonis Alexander (No. 65 safety by 247Sports) and the All-American Reynolds, whom both enrolled at Tech in January.

The Hokies signed one player from Georgia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Norcross (GA) offensive lineman D’Andre Plantin is rated as the No. 123 offensive tackle in the country by 247Sports, while College Park (MD) defensive end Darius Fullwood is ranked as the No. 22 strongside defensive end in the country by Rivals. Cornerback DuWayne Johnson played at H.D. Woodson High in the nation’s capitol and is listed as the No. 41 cornerback in the country by Scout.

A pair of prep school players from New Jersey joined the program in January. Joining the All-American Nijman was Tyrell Smith, who signed with Tech in 2014 but spent a semester at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts. Xavier Burke, a tight end from Lawrenceville, Virginia, was rated as the No. 7 prep school player in the country by 247Sports. He originally signed with Tech in 2014, but spent a semester at Fork Union and enrolled in January, as well.

Of the 24 players in the class, nine are projected to play on the offensive side of the ball. Of the nine players slated for offense, two are coming in as skill players (quarterback/running back/receiver), while seven are coming in as offensive linemen or tight ends. Fourteen players are slotted to begin their careers on defense with seven starting on the line, two at linebacker and five in the secondary. One player is listed as an “athlete” and his position is to be determined. Four of the 12 linemen in the class earned All-America honors from at least one recruiting publication.

Alexander, Clark, Lydon and Reynolds all graduated from high school early and enrolled at Tech in January, and thus, did not sign an NLI on Wednesday. The four are already participating in offseason workouts. A trio of prep schoolers in Burke, Nijman and Smith also enrolled in January.

For the purpose of this release, anyone ranked in ESPN300, 247Sports Top 247, Scout Top 300 or Rivals 250 is considered All-America level caliber.

To see the entire class, click here.

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